Is my Birch a goner?

kitchenkellyMay 11, 2012

I am so bummed about this Heritage Birch. I thought it was a little slow to leaf out and now it looks like it stopped. I planted it four years ago and it has always looked so healthy until now. Any chance it will come back?

Here is a shot of the healthy looking bottom:

Here is part of the upper:

More upper:

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wisconsitom

It looks weak but not necessarily a goner. FWIW, and you probably know this already, birch are fairly slow to leaf out. But yeah, that top looks dead.

+oM

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:26AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

has there been a frost/freeze since leaves started??

ken

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:04AM
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kitchenkelly

Thanks for responding Ken and +oM,

I am in the Twin Cities and there were a few frosts/freezes this Spring but all my other perenials, shrubs, trees, and conifers made it.

+oM, You say it isn't a goner, but if I remove the dead part I would be "topping the tree." Wouldn't I suffer from extreme GW Tree Forum karma for the rest of my gardening life? (Not sure I want to risk that.)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:37PM
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wisconsitom

Hehe, no, not in this case. ;^)

You do what you gotta do, and removing dead plant parts is always okay. Give it a bit more time though. I don't think that part is going to leaf out, but there's no harm in waiting another couple of weeks.

+oM

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It will be OK..just cut off the top, not now, sap still pushing.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:51AM
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kitchenkelly

OK. I will wait until the beginning of June to make a decision and see if there is any progress. Yesterday, I did cut off part of a branch and gave it the scratch test. It wasn't really green but it wasn't totally brittle and dead.

Back to cutting the top off (down the road if necessary.) This tree can't develop another central leader, can it? Won't my tall, dark and handsome birch turn squatty and wide? Or is that more of a conifer issue?

Thanks again for all the help.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:16AM
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